Top 10 things to do in Istanbul

Discover the Queen of all the cities… Istanbul and get amazed by the most lively, beautiful, old and mysterious place… One of the world’s greatest city, also known as Constantinopole, which served for sixteen centuries as capital for many empires, such as the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman.

The only city of the world, located between two continents, Europe and Asia, divided from the famous Bosphorus strait! In Istanbul, there are dozens of places and endless things one can do during their stay!

Don’t miss the Top 10 things to do in Istanbul


Sultanahmet-Old City


Wander around all the significant monuments! Learn all about the history of this wonderful place and get amazed by the imposing sights

  • Hagia Sophia: also known as the “the eighth wonder of the World”, a former Christian church, built almost 1700 years ago
  • Topkapi Palace: a palace that housed for almost 400 years, Ottoman Sultans, their families and about 4000 people who also lived there
  • Blue Mosque: a beautiful mosque, built 400 years ago and it is one  of the two mosques in Turkey with six minarets


Cruise on Bosphorus 


The best way to enjoy this magnificent city is by taking a cruise on the wonderful Bosphorus. Admire the beauty of Istanbul, which looks as if it bows on the shores of Bosphorus and enjoy all the sights along its length! Palaces, mansions, parks, yalis, hotels and beautiful fishing villages




Visit the old closed markets in Istanbul and enjoy not only all the amazing artifacts but also learn how the traditional Turkish bargain is done. All of them offer wonderful things such as beautiful Turkish carpets, kilims, glazed tiles and pottery, copper and brassware, apparels made of leather, hand-painted ceramics, embroideries, fresh spices and herbs, glittering jewellery, herbs, big variaty of spices, dried fruits and nuts, fresh tea, scarves, lanterns, Nargile and many more

  • Grand Bazaar: is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4.000 small shops
  • Spice Bazaar: a unique spice market, also known as Egyptian bazaar, it’s the most famous covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar whşch hosts eighty five shops
  • Arasta Bazaar: a small and recently renovated bazaar, where during the excavation, the  mosaics that found there proved that the area belonged to a Byzantine Palace complex


Pierre Loti


The disctrict of Eyup is a significant place with historical importance for the Turks. Many mosques and mausoleums are located there, along with many restaurants, coffe places and all kind of shops. Pierre Loti Hill is located at the Eyup area… a place which you can visit with a cable car and get amazed by the unbelievable beauty to the Golden Horn! At the hill, you can find an open air coffe shop, where you can enjoy your Turkish tea while admiring views up to Marmara sea


Turkish bath


Live an unforgettable experience by taking a Hamam! Let yourselves in the hands of the specialists and enjoy this old method of cleansing and relaxation… a full body wash and massage! In the old times, Hamams used to be places of entertainment and ceremonies such as weddings, high holidays, celebrating new borns and for beauty tips…

The most famous ones are:

  • Çemberlitaş Hamam
  • Cağaloğlu Hamam
  • Hürrem Sultan, Sultanahmet
  • Süleymaniye Hamami
  • Gedikpaşa Hamami
  • Kiliç Ali Paşa Hamam




The Turkish water pipe, came wide known during the Ottoman empire and eventually a part of the Turkish culture in the 16th century. In the old days, it considered an important custom and smoking with the Sultan was the highest honor!

Nowadays in Istanbul it is very common to come across people who relax, chat and smoke nargile while drinking Turkish coffee or tea. It takes about 1-1,5 hours to smoke a water pipe and it is nothing like smoking a cigarette!  A totaly different experience which you definitely must try…

You can find Nargile coffee shops all over Istanbul, but the most famous ones are located at Tophane area


Princes’ Islands


A precious gift from nature to all of us. A complex of beautiful small islands located in the Sea of Marmara. The islands took its’ names because princes and members of the Ottomans Sultans families were exiled!

Especially during the summer months the Princes’ Islands are popular destination for day trips from Istanbul. All of the islands are famous for their mild climate, lush vegetation and ornate Ottoman houses. Cars are strictly prohibited, that’s why transportation can only be provided by horse-drawn carriages which are known as phaetons and bikes. But this restriction is that makes the islands even more unique! By public ferry or by private boat.

The most famous ones are 4: Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada and Kınalıada. The distance from the city is almost 1,5 with ferry to the last island.




Taksim square considered the city center and the most famous meeting point in the city. Being the heart of modern Istanbul, offers dozens choices for entertainment and shopping! The popular Istiklal street, begins from Taksim square… a famous and lively avenue, only for pedestrians, full of places where you can enjoy the Turkish lifestyle!


Asian Side


This wonderful part of the city, the Asian side, is located east of Bosphorus and it is connected to the European side by the famous Bosphorus bridge.

Kadıköy and Üsküdar forms the historical cores of the Asian part connected with each other by miles-long seaside road. A very pleasant and beautiful place to go for a walk and enjoy the amazing views. Both of these districts contain a large number of attractions that of course worth visiting! You can find lively areas full of bars and restaurants, shops and coffee places but also quiet and relax places where you can enjoy a nice walk. Çengelköy in Uskudar and Moda in Kadikoy, are two places you should not miss!


Local Cuisine


A heritage of the Ottoman cuisine which merged with various culinary traditions, influenced from Levantine cuisines and elements from Central Asia… creating limitless specialities!!! While your stay in the city, surprise your taste buds by new and spicy flavors!

Some of the most famous, are:

  • Doner kebab
  • Balik ekmek
  • Kokorec
  • Gozleme
  • Menemen 
  • Corba
  • Manti
  • Midye dolma
  • Lahmacun


~~~ Thousands things to do at this amazing city! So, how many of the things of the list have you visited or tried? If you will in need professional tour guide. Please take a moment to leave a comment about your experiences ~~~

Comment on “Top 10 things to do in Istanbul”

  1. This list is GREAT!!!!! I am visiting Istanbul this weekend and I was looking something to do in this amazing city and you just gave me 10 more things to do and see!!!!
    Thank you so much!!!

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